A SCENARIO OF USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN ENGINEERING COLLEGE LIBRARIES IN RAYALASEEMA AREA OF ANDHRA PRADESH By Dr. K.NATARAJA NAIDU, Librarian, Government Polytechnic, ANANTAPUR -515002 Andhra Pradesh - INDIA
Introduction: Excellent Engineering colleges are essential to prepare Engineers with good knowledge and skills. Teachers, laboratories and libraries are important components in providing effective engineering education. Information is an important resource, valuable input and power for societal development. The fully integrated online system has improved the operation of acquisition, cataloguing, serials handling and circulation services. Former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has asked all publishers of India to get ready to bring out their publications /books in CD formats or digital books before 2020 to make India to succeed in the gamut of world digital knowledge.
Meaning of Information Technology: In the domain of library and Information Science, the IT means, use of computers, telecommunications, Internet, application of software, micrographic, reprographic and other electronic devices for storage retrieval , reproduction and dissemination of information . The Information Technology with reference to library has been defined by Rajaraman as “the technology which is used to acquire, store, organize and process data, which can be used with specified applications and disseminate the processed data.” American Library Association Glossary of Library and Information Science terms defines Information Technology as “the application of computer and other technologies to the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.”
Need for the study: It is accepted fact that the Information Technology has influenced all the components of a library system, information sources, services, human resources and users. It is so more in the case of Engineering colleges where emphasis is more on the currency of information. The industry oriented , case study methods and methods of imparting engineering education require engineering college libraries to be ever responsive to the changing needs of their clientele. National Board of Accreditation functioning under AICTE, while accrediting Engineering colleges have been lying emphasize of computerization of library services and linking these with internet. As a result, the Engineering college libraries started using computers for library functions. Andhra Pradesh has been one of the leading states in India in providing technical education. The number of engineering colleges available in 2001 in Andhra Pradesh is only 114 but during the year 2012 the number reached to 726. But very limited number of Engineering college libraries are using full -fledged information technology in their library operations. There is a lacuna between the demand for technology based information services and the supply of traditional based information services in Engineering college libraries. In order to fill this lacuna , to explain the importance of use of Information Technology in Engineering college libraries , so as to meet the ever changing technology demands and to offer suitable suggestions for effective utilization of networked information there is great need to take up this study.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY: • The study has been conducted with the following objectives • To examine the use of Information Technology in selected Engineering college libraries in Rayalaseema area of Andhra Pradesh. • To elicit the opinion of the users community on the availability of adequate Information technology infrastructure in their libraries. • To ascertain the purpose of application of Information technology in libraries from the Librarians point of view and from the users point of view. • To know the extent participation of engineering college libraries in Consortia networks. • To know the level of satisfaction of users with application of Information technology in engineering college libraries. • To identify the barriers in implementation of Information technology services in Engineering college libraries. • To offer suggestions for effective implementation of Information technology in Engineering college libraries.
Methodology and Sample Size: The universe of the study covers all the four districts of Rayalaseema area of Andhra Pradesh, namely Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapur and Chittoor. As per the survey conducted there are 88 Engineering colleges are available in Rayalaseema area of Andhra Pradesh however the study is confined to representative sample of 22 Engineering colleges in view of limitation of time and financial commitment . Further the Information Technology is a nascent area, the Engineering colleges offering B.Tech/M.Tech courses are taken for study which is supposed to illuminate the Information Technology applications. The researcher also analyzes the awareness of faculty and students in selected Engineering colleges on the application of Information technology in their libraries.
Recent developments in engineering college libraries in the context of application of Information Technology: Due to developments in the area of Information Technology, the academicians and administrators of engineering colleges have given considerable importance to the library and information services. As a result during a present electronic era, Information Technology is treated as resource of resources. Due to this all Engineering institutions are seriously engaged to set up electronic libraries with an objective to support the academic and extension programs in various branches of Engineering. Engineering college libraries are directly influencing by the Information Technology. The recent developments takes place in using of technologies in Engineering college Libraries such as introduction of RFID technology, Bar-Code technology , Scanners , Multimedia, Smart card ,Web-OPAC, Animation Touch Screen, Web cam, Closed circuit cameras, Video and teleconferencing, speech recognition, Internet, DVDs, CD-ROMs, Theft detectors, Consortia, Automated self check machines(for issue of books by users themselves), Electronic publishing Technology and Automated book drop boxes( for return of books by users themselves without taking help of library staff), I-PROF packet ,E-learning, E-reader Tablets, Databases in various forms.
Application of Information Technology in engineering college Library functions • The application of electronic information resources virtually has changed the functions of the Libraries from manual to digital all over the world. Under changed circumstances the libraries throughout the world provide citizens with public access to networked information. With the adopting emerging technologies, libraries seek to facilitate information retrieval more thoroughly, effectively and attractively. • Revolutions in Information Technology have made a great impact on library functions and services. With the introduction of Information technology, the library services have improved speed, efficiency and effectiveness for providing right information at the right time to the right user. • In the following library functions the Information Technology is widely using • Acquisition: using online ordering of books, e-trading and e-commerce in Acquisition function. • Cataloguing: Using Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) in Cataloguing function. • Classification: Now-a-days with the help of online classification schemes. The publishers are able to assign classification numbers to their publications. • Circulation: At present most of the libraries are using Bar Code technology, RFID technology, Smart Card technology (for membership purpose). Automated Teller Machine (for self issue of books), Automated Book Drop Boxes (for self return of books even at the out of working hours of the library).
Bar Code Automated Teller Machine
Book Drop Box Serial control: Acquisition of periodicals through online is a new mode for libraries. It has 5 procedures namely, information retrieving by Internet, choosing and booking, document delivery, confirming orders, and electronic payment. Comparing with traditional acquisition of periodicals, the on-line acquisition of periodicals has many advantages, such as the tremendous information, the straightness, the high efficiency and saving of time and space. Now-a-days every Engineering college is used to introduce E-Journals facility in their libraries.
Findings: • The survey reveals that 40.91 percent of the libraries were fully automated and 45.45 percent were partially automated and in remaining 13.63 percent of the libraries the Automation process is under progress. All the libraries under study are having computers , CD-ROMs and DVDs. It is observed from the survey the hardware and software facilities in majority of the libraries are encouraging. • Majority of the Engineering College libraries (86.36%) are using Windows2003/XP operating system and 54.54 percent of the libraries are using the commercial software designed by the private computer management Institutions. • It was noticed from the survey that 45.45 percent libraries are linked with AICTE-INDEST consortia and the remaining are connected to UGC-INFONET, NICNET, DELNET and INFLIBNET. Still 7 libraries are not yet having membership in any consortia. • Many of the Librarians expressed that inadequate finance, lack of training to library professionals, lack of management support and non-availability of consultancy services are impediments for effective implementation of Information Technology in Libraries.
Suggestions: • The views and comments offered by the users and librarians have enabled the investigator to offers some feasible suggestions for deriving maximum benefit from the application of the Information Technology in Engineering college libraries. • These suggestions are mentioned below • Some of the librarians under the study are still limited to rudimentary services like providing circulation service on computer and Internet facility. It is suggested that they must go a step further and provide services like online database access, networked CD-ROM database services and access to E-journals. • It is suggested that engineering college libraries should invest for developing of library web pages and provide services like Web – OPAC and access to digital resources. Many of the transactions like renewal, reservation of books can be carried out from library webpage. • Ever changing Information Technology environment demands the library professionals to acquire of update new skills of technology management regularly. Hence it is recommended that the college managements should depute their library professionals to the workshops / training programs on library automation and use of IT products in libraries.
A comprehensive collection development policy for E- resources should be maintained by the libraries of Engineering colleges, in order to follow a set of standard practices for acquisition and management of IT based resources. There should be specific budget for E- resources. • Many of the users opined that to retrieve the information from E- resources on various Engineering subjects the websites should be known to users. Hence it is suggested that information regarding popular and latest websites with their addresses should be displayed on the notice boards of the library and college computer centre. • It is suggested that all the Engineering college libraries should be linked to AICTE- INDEST consortia to share the update knowledge on various subjects of Engineering and technology. • In order to increase optimum usage of E- resources such as E- journals, E-books, Online databases and OPAC the libraries should create awareness among the users by conducting periodical user orientation programs.
Conclusion: Academic Institutions and their libraries are experiencing a massive change in the way they function. Engineering College Libraries are no exception to this. Information technology innovations have found their way into applications in Engineering college libraries. The accelerating pace of information technology continuously raises the standards of users’ anticipations and expectations in providing value-added services. The application of Information Technology will help the Engineering college libraries to overcome the barriers of distance, time and drudgery of repeated manual efforts in the library routines and provide better services to the users. The advancements in Information Technology will continue to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of Engineering college libraries in Rayalaseema area of Andhra Pradesh in India.